• Friendship and relationship advice,  Photo stories,  reciprocation,  relationships

    The right balance

     “Good relationships are built on mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual effort.” ~Mona Sutphen I once read an article by a therapist who suggested that “imbalance” is often at the root of relationship trouble. When any relationship feels off, the therapist advised, it helps to do a reality check and consider what could be out of balance. Am I talking more than listening? Am I taking more than giving? Am I initiating social activities or just waiting for someone to call me? Understandably, we all have times when we fall short of being present in the ways people need us. Then again, sometimes we expect more than someone can give…

  • Aging well,  Anne Lamott,  Personal growth,  relationships


    “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” ~Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre I’ve been preparing for an upcoming journaling workshop that I’ll be leading on the topic of growing older with courage and grace. In every resource I’ve studied for this program, “forgiveness” is listed as essential to our wellbeing as we age. Everyone struggles with grudges, emotional wounds, or petty grievances. But as Anne Lammott writes in Traveling Mercies, “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” Forgiving someone who hurt you doesn’t always mean that the damaged relationship will return to normal — or even resume…

  • Communication,  Health & wellbeing,  relationships

    Love and struggle

    “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It’s an active noun, like ‘struggle.'”~Fred Rogers Relationships are always evolving — and that applies to friendship as well as romance. In the early stages, we tend to idealize our partner or best friends. But who on earth can live up to our highest expectations at all times? The longer we know someone, and the more we grow, the more likely we’ll encounter obstacles, conflict, or disappointment. As Fred Rogers suggests in today’s quote, “struggle” is an active part of love. The strength of any relationship depends on how we deal with it. ~CL Photo: Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park by Cindy La…

  • Communication,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Photo stories,  relationships

    Make a note of it

    “In this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I didn’t grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy.” ~Elizabeth Kostova Who doesn’t love getting a card or letter in the mail? Paper correspondence conveys a depth of sincerity and meaning that online communication can’t match. Texting or emailing can be done on the fly. But it takes extra care and effort to select a card or stationery, write a message, address and stamp the envelope, and get it to a mail box. A couple of my favorite neighbors and I have been snail-mailing all-occasion cards and notes to each other for…

  • Photo stories,  relationships,  social skills

    Silly presents

    “A friendship can weather most things, and it can thrive in thin soil. But it needs a little mulch of notes and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often, just to save it from drying out completely.” ~Pamela Brown A few years ago, after a painful surgery on my eyelid for skin cancer, a dear friend brought me a lovely “care package” that touched my heart more than words could express. I’ll never forget the morning she showed up at my door with that gift. That same friend was injured in an accident earlier this week, and as soon as I learned about it, I started shopping for a care package.…